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Mike da Carpenter

Question for you Jeep guys....

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Mike da Carpenter

I have an opportunity to put in a sealed bid for a 2005 Jeep Wrangler that has 75,100 miles on it. It was a fleet vehicle, has new front air shocks to facilitate the use of a stainless snow plow that comes with it, new brakes all the way around too.  Vehicle use to leak from all fluid pans, so the mechanic dropped all the pans/covers, replaced the gaskets and fluids.  Two new front fenders due to the others rusting out.  4 new snow tires and goes right into 4 High and 4 Low instantly.  I asked our mechanic what was wrong with it, and he stated “the body is going to rust soon.  Honestly I do not care about that.  He said besides that, it’s a solid vehicle.  All the mechanical work was performed on it 2 years ago, and is still running good and no leaks.  Jeep also comes with a hardtop.

 

The mechanic said the frame is solid, but rusty.  There are no holes or weak points...yet.

 

Took it for a drive yesterday and everything drove/rode fine till I hit about 55-60 mph.  You could feel the steering wheel pulling left and right.  I’m assuming it needs a front end alignment from being used as a plow vehicle.  Mentioned that to the mechanic when I got back and he agreed that is probably the case, and nobody mentioned that before because the Jeep rarely got driven that fast.  Or my other thought is...could the REALLY short wheel base contribute to the steering wheel “hunting” for a location?  That was the first time I have ever drove a Jeep so that’s why I ask the question so hopefully someone here could give me some insight.

 

I mentioned the Jeep has 75,100 miles on it, but it probably has twice that just sitting at idle.  How long are these 6 cylinders good for?  The Jeep comes with an automatic transmission.  Are these a solid product, or better to shy away from?  Do I need to be concerned with the transmission not being driven over 30-35 MPH very often in the vehicle’s lifetime?

 

I wouldn’t mind owning this as just a commuter vehicle to save on miles going onto my truck, and have something the boys can make some extra money with during the winter by plowing snow.

 

Now, here is the main question...what’s it worth.  Minimum bid is $1200, but I know it will be going for more than that and I only get one shot at putting in a bid, or am I just wasting my time and money and looking to acquire a money pit?

 

I appreciate any and all help/insight you are able to give me, because I know nothing about Jeeps.

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bobman

Run away! The engine is the only thing that’s not a problem.

 

 

 

 

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Mike da Carpenter
7 minutes ago, bobman said:

Run away! The engine is the only thing that’s not a problem.

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you say to “Run Away”.

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WPG Gizmo

Ok what your looking at is a Wrangler TJ the in line 6 is/was the best motor put into a jeep they are pretty bullet proof. 14 years old it is going to have some warts and rust is one of them.

 

Jeeps with the short wheel base have a different feel when driving something that takes some getting used to if the suspension is stock (i.e. not lifted) with a plow on it it is time for some new springs and shocks that will stiffen up the ride some it is also a good time to check all the joints for looseness.  If the left to right your feel is quick and violent that is called Death wobble it feels like the whole front end is coming off the vehicle not something you want to experience.  Jeep has determined that death wobble on the new JL version is due to the steering stabilizer most jeeper's I know call BS on that as it is more a problem with lifted vehicles or bad parts.  With the short wheel base you have to have the front end dialed in perfectly or it will wander on the road.

 

Fuel mileage is not that great I average 17 with my 3.8 your going to see less.  

 

A short wheel base jeep is a great plow vehicle IF you understand the limitations it has it is great for getting into tight driveways but do not expect to plow deep snow at the end of the storm this is a vehicle that you will need to go out a couple of times with it just does not have the weight that a large 3/4 ton pickup has to move snow with plus the rear end will be very light with a plow on the front unless you hang a spreader off it or put weight over the rear axle.  I would get a Buyers spreader for the back and charge extra for sanding.  Here is the problem with a used plow truck how did the people who drove it before treat it did they plow with it letting the truck do the work or did they beat the crap out of it.   If they beat on it I would pass on it the guys that get a running start and slam into the snow bank are just beating on the vehicle.

 

Parts are available just about everywhere for jeeps  so repairs are not that hard to do remember JEEP stands for Just Empty Every Pocket.

 

Whats it worth well that depends on the model is it a sport (least expensive) or a rubicon (most expensive) or one in between the average 2005 Wrangler around me goes for $10-12,000 at a dealer I would expect the one your talking about to go for at least $9000 but expect to put money into it from the start if you get it. 

 

 

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Brad Eden

I know squat about jeeps desite owning a newish CJ 5 back around 1985 (company car given to me by my first boss after college, who didn't want me to quit his printing company art department, when I moved out of Boston back to the country) I commuted in it. Fun but a real harsh ride that literally almost put JoAnn into labor...But it depends on what you want to use it for... Bee bopping around town and hunting local areas and some plowing. Sounds decent to me depending on price. 

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NVChukarChaser

Jeeps are great little commuters. I have a 2000 TJ with 2.5 inline 4 and at 55-60 it rides straight as an arrow down the highway. The little four is wound though with the 4:10 rear end. The coil overs in the front end in the TJ compared to the leafs in the YJ and CJs is a major improvement in ride. Guys on Jeep forums will say that if it isn’t leaking it isn’t a Jeep but mine at 124k doesn’t leak at all. Mine is all stock with the five speed manual and gets 17 mpg. I don’t have much knowledge of that motor but I believe it is the Penstar which is a major technological upgrade from the inline “tractor” motor which could be a good or bad thing. I like the simplicity of the inline 4. On the Jeep forums I have heard the joke or comment that that motor is the “mini van motor”.

 

I use mine so that I’m not short tripping the diesel and plugging the DPF around town and then have a tow bar and pull it out to the hunting spots. It’s good for two guys to hunt out of with the back seat out and a dog bed for the dogs instead of a kennel. I will occasionally drive it on the highway around here where the speed limits are 70 and 80 mph and it is a little scary but I just puts along at 60 and let people around. I would be concerned by the stress put on the transmission through plowing. 

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airmedic1

I am always leary of plow vehicles, they take a beating like no other.  Hitting curbs at speed, constant back and forth, just imagine what you see when you see someone out plowing and then multiply it by 1000.

Unless you can steal it I would pass.

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C.J.L.

Mine's a 1998 and I'd ask $15K for it but there isn't a spot of rust anywhere on it and 80K miles.  It hasn't seen snow or dirt in 15 years.  You might not want the one you're looking at as a daily driver as I think they are terrible for that use. They are bad in the snow unless you're driving slow down back roads too.  But if you get it at the right price it's fun vehicle and boys would have good time making into something cool to drive to school.  

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DonT
On 9/14/2019 at 10:09 AM, WPG Gizmo said:

Ok what your looking at is a Wrangler TJ the in line 6 is/was the best motor put into a jeep they are pretty bullet proof.

 

Yes this is true the 4.0L is the best Jeep engine ever, I have the 4.2 and had a few of the 4.0L, the TJ doesn't have the v6 mini van engine.   Put in a low bid but I would look for a stock jeep with a manual trans that needed some TLC.  If you have tools you can do anything with them.   I still have my 1989 YJ that I purchased new.  All plow truck get beat. 

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ryanr

I like Don's advice, put in a low bid and see what happens. I wouldn't put a high bid on a plow truck with that age.The vehicle I miss the most is my 2004 Wrangler, the only vehicle I ever bought brand new. Had the famous bulletproof 4.0L straight 6. In winter, I'd put that thing in 4WD and just go have fun in snowstorms, it got thru anything with very little trouble. 

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Mike da Carpenter

Bids had to be in today at 1 PM.  I ended up not being the high bidder today.  I had come up with a price I was willing to pay, wrote it down and then second guessed myself (really didn’t want it,  but for the right price I’d take it).  Then lowered my initial offer and submitted it yesterday.

 

In the end, I was out bid by $298 from my original price I wrote down, so it was never meant to be.  All it was going to ever be was just a toy for one of us “kids”.  

 

I appreciate the feedback.  UJ land is a wealth of information.

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GLS

Sometimes in an auction there are two happy folks.  The high bidder and the person who came in second.  Time will tell on this auction.  Gil

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RJR

I always heard the two people happy with a auction sell was the seller and the person with the second highest bid. 

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Millriver

Don’t discount a Wrangler for your boys. A TJ with the straight 6 and a manual transmission will make them the coolest kid in school. They’re an awful lot of fun, highly impractical, and one of the best vehicles for young drivers because you can’t put a mess of kids in them and they’re no fun to drive at high speed or on the highway.

 

My son learned to drive on our ‘98 Wrangler, sunk a bunch of his own money and time tricking it out ( within reason), and we love driving it when he’s away at school. Every family needs one. PM me if you have questions, I’ll put you in touch with him. He loves to talk about Jeeps!

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C.J.L.
52 minutes ago, Millriver said:

Don’t discount a Wrangler for your boys. A TJ with the straight 6 and a manual transmission will make them the coolest kid in school. They’re an awful lot of fun, highly impractical, and one of the best vehicles for young drivers because you can’t put a mess of kids in them and they’re no fun to drive at high speed or on the highway.

 

My son learned to drive on our ‘98 Wrangler, sunk a bunch of his own money and time tricking it out ( within reason), and we love driving it when he’s away at school. Every family needs one. PM me if you have questions, I’ll put you in touch with him. He loves to talk about Jeeps!

 

And CHICKS digg them!

 

I should add, I've let a lot of gals try to drive it with the 5 speed.  They have a blast and laugh the whole time

IMG_0148.jpg

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